Sent by DjM
A few notable Morkites went out kicking and screaming. These were too venerable and noticeable for the usual treatment, so Schnott attempted to discredit and shame them to the Morkite colonists. More often than not, her efforts failed, and these luminaries recovered from their abuses and spoke out from their safe positions in exile.
Other respected Morkites chose to accept their fate quietly and with unspoken dignity. This caused them to be revered and venerated as martyrs, giving them more respect, and diminishing Jewel Schnott’s esteem in the colonists’ eyes.
One such person was the oldest veteran Morkite at the Citadel, April Spaa. She was married to one of Emperor Wrolf Truths’ Chief Delegates, Burning Spaa. Having survived all of the turmoil of the previous regimes, April and Burning were considered sacred as the only remnants from the Era of Truths.
April (so named because of her spring-fresh, glowing persona) was extremely popular amongst the RoseyCrushers. The colonists flocked to her at gatherings, and requested her presence far and above that of GD Schnott, or Caring Quirk. This particularly infuriated Quirk, as she saw Spaa’s favor a direct affront to her beloved Jewel, whom she thought should be the sole voice of Morkink. Everything about the Spaas was the antithesis to what Jewel Schnott and Caring Quirk stood for. The Spaas’ continued existence at the Citadel was a source of constant torment and embarrassment to the Lesboners, a situation which would eventually have to come to a head.
Since Burning Spaa was a Chief Delegate, he was equal to Jewel Schnott in the Morkink hierarchy and was untouchable. His history and friendship with the Morkites and particularly with Emperor Bernhardt Chrissum made him beyond reproach. April Spaa had likewise esteem, but since she also served on the Citadel staff under Schnott’s jurisdiction, this made her vulnerable for reprisal.
Caring Quirk’s hatred for the Spaas burned deep in her heart. As she ascended to loftier positions in the Citadel, she tried to exercise her power over April to no avail. Refusing to be humiliated, April Spaa would obediently comply with whatever Quirk or Schnott’s commands were, while maintaining her usual unflappable, dignified, yet cheerful demeanor. The inability to fluster the unflustered April Spaa made Quirk livid beyond belief, as April was not only a representative of Morkink’s Truths, but she also exhibited self-control to an extent that was unattainable to Quirk and Schnott. So, they bided their time and waited for the appropriate opportunity to seize their prey. And it happened.
Never trusting anybody, Quirk had Rebar, Nonstrong and others monitor all communication, mail, messages and visits. She reported those that she felt were threatening or advantageous to Jewel Schnott. As it happened some members were corresponding with Spaa and praising her Morkite abilities. Quirk intercepted these and (incorrectly) assumed that the Spaas were amassing a following which would directly threaten her and Schnott's plans. Alerting Schnott, they immediately confronted April about the allegations.
With her usual dignity and aplomb, Spaa silently accepted what she saw as inevitable. Hearing out the outrageous charges against her lodged by Quirk and accepted by Schnott, April bared her heart with honor and allowed herself to be sacrificed at the hands of the Lesboner barbarians. Afterwards, she was removed from the Citadel without fanfare or notice. The whispers about her demise gradually settled down and the surviving Morkite staff shuddered in fear for their own safety.
Caring Quirk was working her ways on a more subtle level as well. Posing as a weak, vulnerable Kewpie-doll, Quirk masterfully manipulated her way around the Morkite workers. She’d present her idea or proposal to someone with an air of self-doubt and insecurity, and allow them to help and encourage her, finally enacting the project with little actual participation from Quirk. Occasionally, she’d ply talents honed from her former trade and tempt the subject into cooperation with her sensual feminine ways.
A couple of times this backfired on her as she underestimated the susceptibility of her prey. On one notable occasion, the “victim” came back and accused her of seductive harassment, charging her in public courts. Several other times, the “target” called her bluff, after completing the requested task and in return demanded she fulfill her promises. Caring would be obliged to follow through with her reward of sensual delights, and often performed with astonishing expertise.
However, word of these “problem instances” always got back to Schnott, for she also had an intricate network of informants. Her jealousy, combined with fear of being exposed for her real self resulted in a rage not often seen anywhere, especially at the peaceful Citadel of Morkink. To punish those that sought to defile her love-partner Caring Quirk, she unleashed her full wrath.
Unable to dispose of the subject who filed the court case, she hired a team of the best legal minds to intimidate and badger the accuser, Finally, the beleaguer litigant resigned her case in favor of a handsome settlement, and then was silently eliminated by a squad of Lesboner Commando warriors Schnott accessed for such tasks,
A likewise fate was met by the others who were unfortunate enough to taste the fruits of Caring Quirk’s carnal delights. None were ever heard from again. Thus, Quirk began to amass the reputation as a “Black Widow” who was not to be crossed.
These happenings allowed GD Schnott to gradually elevate Caring Quirk to a position at the Citadel second only to her own. Along with these promotions came substantial increases in pay and authority over the Grand Colony. Because of her unique “position” with the Grand Delegate, Quirk was actually manipulating both Schnott and Morkink with little or no notice by the other Citadel servants. It was soon realized by the surviving Citadel staff that Quirk was the shadow Grand Delegate. The real power behind the throne!
Caring’s rise in power was quite advantageous to GD Schnott. As she periodically used the excuse of traveling throughout the Colony on Morkink affairs, she also spent much time on the Isle of Lesbonia, reporting to Druida Wiccana, and getting advice on her next moves. At first, Caring Quirk ventured with Schnott, and the two were inseparable. However, insurgents at the Citadel dictated close scrutiny, and eventually, Caring Quirk was left behind to monitor activities. This freed up Jewel Schnott to journey throughout the Grand Colony to reinforce her Lesboner version of Morkite philosophy.
One of these thought programs was called “Inadequate Assessment”. Discovered by Caring Quirk, she persuaded Jewel Schnott to send her to University at great expense to become a lettered expert in this technique. When she became proficient, several other malleable Morkink staffers were sent out for indoctrination into this method.
Inadequate Assessment is a thought process that involves interaction between several members of a group, in order to reinforce their inadequate mental attitudes and resultant behaviors. The assessment style utilized makes the subjects happily acknowledge and affirm one another’s short-comings and insecurities. Thus assuring enhanced perpetuation of these personality flaws and failings, the subjects remain increasingly dependent and unable to consciously decide right from wrong for themselves.
“IA”, as it is called, makes for easy control over groups. Their judgment becomes so sufficiently fogged with self-doubt that a strong personality is able to break through the clouds of confusion and offer solutions and guidance. The IA subject(s) are so happy for the clarity and enlightenment that they witlessly follow.
Caring Quirk was the ideal person to introduce this to the Citadel of Morkink. The chaos an confusion of Schnott’s constant re-organizations and personnel changes had done its trick, making the Morkink workers a bunch of groveling slaves. They were ripe and ready for the direction that IA offered. Quirk’s beguiling style of using her faux vulnerability, allowed her to once again quickly gain the subjects’ confidence. With her cheerleader-like emotional ranting, she rapidly convinced the weakened workers that IA was their Saviour.
With mandatory participation, and after several intensive indoctrination sessions, all of the Citadel subjects were caught up in the IA buzz. Superficial results and phony re-enforcement from Schnott and Quirk soon had the workers happily accepting their servitude as a blessing. The word spread to the Colony of this “amazing” new thought process, and Schnott and Quirk went about campaigning for its adoption.
It was during one of these trips that the inevitable happened. Caring Quirk had been left behind to control the Citadel while Jewel Schnott secretly ventured to Lesbonia, consulting wit the Queen. Quirk met a local Lesboner who captivated and enthralled her. Lonely for companionship and starved for physical gratification due to Schnott’s extended absences, Caring Quirk allowed herself to be seduced by the charms of another..
This led to a tawdry affair which, amongst other things, changed the dynamics of Schnott and Quirk’s relationship. As usually occurs when a partner strays, the other notices subtle differences in daily routine and manner. Lesboners are no exception, and Schnott soon could tell something was going on with Quirk. Unable to handle the gradual feeling of exclusion from Quirk, Jewel Schnott re-routed her emotional upheaval to her work at the Citadel.
Meanwhile, as if to make the situation worse, several of the exiled former Morkite Citadel servants began to surface, and become very vocal about the Lesboners’ antics. They spread the word about the ruthless purges of Morkites that Schnott and Quirk conducted, and of their relentless abuses of the Citadel workers. Stories of the merciless dealings with other venerated RoseyCrushers circulated around the Grand Colony.
To add credence to these tales, some of the Regional Delegates who advised local Colony groups, added their accounts of unusual dealings with Schnott and the Citadel. These served to only fuel the growing dissatisfaction of the Colonial Morkites with the Schnott situation.
The rebels started to become empowered. They were uniting, and soon established bases of their own. A plea was sent to Emperor Bernhardt Chrissum in far-off Gallia, but his involvement with world-wide RoseyCrusher affairs could not let him be bothered with seemingly trivial Grand Colony politics. So, the Morkites’ cries fell on deaf ears in the highest levels of Morkink.
Gradually, Morkite colonists began deserting the Grand Colony. As their numbers increased, Schnott soon found that her power base was diminishing. This was disastrous! Her mission was to takeover Morkink for Druida Wiccana, not destroy it! The Wiccanas could not rule a colony that had no subjects!
In order to stem the flow of drop-outs, Schnott and Quirk announced several new programs designed to encourage questionable subjects to remain faithful. Not realizing the fact that the loyalty of Morkites was built upon their trust in the integrity of the Citadel, GD Schnott didn’t understand why the RoseyCrushers weren’t buying into her new schemes to retain their allegiances.
Another problem added fuel to the fire. As Morkites left the flock, the royalties they paid to the Citadel also stopped. Schnott was seeing not only her ability to operate the Citadel threatened, but also she and Quirk’s lavish spending habits were going to be curtailed. Citing rising costs and operating expenses, Schnott piled higher taxes upon the remaining Colonists. The lack of satisfactory service from the Citadel, along with the spreading insurgency led by the popular and omnipresent Citadel outcasts, led to a hastening of those abandoning the Grand Colony.
Schnott failed to understand or appreciate the Truths’ legacy. Not being a genuine, longstanding RoseyCrusher herself, the devotion of the Morkites to the Truths was an element overlooked in Schnott and Quirk’s blueprint for domination. Try as she might to destroy the Truths and all that empowered them, her efforts had a reverse effect.
Combined with the suspicions of Quirk’s infidelities, these latest problems made Jewel Schnott ready to blow. The pressures of these turmoils sent her to the brink of emotional sanity. She secluded herself in her workspace, only emerging to leave, or drag another hapless subject in for a flogging. Her perpetual scowl and fiery glances encouraged all around her to seek shelter from her wrath. Unable to adequately relate to Quirk any longer, she sought frequent solace by returning to the comfort of Lesbonia, increasing her solo trips away from the Citadel.
Another pressure was applied to her in the person of Druida Wiccana, who could see the plans for Morkink domination starting to unravel. Faced with mounting expectations from her Queen and mentor, Schnott was at her wit’s end to find a solution. Failing in this most important mission, would guarantee Schnott’s own banishment from her beloved Lesbonia, and a future of shamed exile in the dog pound reserved for Lesboner bull commandos. This is a place where survival is determined by one’s ability to retain fighting status as top dog. Realizing her self-indulgent Morkink existence had caused her to soften and lose her Warrior ways, Schnott dreaded this punishment more than death.
Frantically, she toured the Colony, trying to put a happy face on the situation. She would attempt to put a spin on the concerns of Morkite colonists whenever possible, assuring them that all was well at the Citadel, and that the RoseyCrushers were a growing, happy group. Whenever this failed, and a regional group was about to jump ship, she would cite a minute clause in the group’s affiliation agreement with Morkink, and seize their holdings and fortunes to bolster Morkink’s dwindling coffers.
Unfortunately, Jewel Schnott vastly underestimated the influence that the legacy of Truths had on the Morkites. They held the Truths’ Principles of honor, integrity and peaceful coexistence as their guiding light. Having none of these values endeared to her soul, Schnott failed to recognize what these shortcomings would cost her, and how much her foes were ready to put at stake to defend them.
As resistance to Schnott’s overtures became more fervent, rumors of outright mutiny were surfacing. Regional groups in the Colony were preparing to secede from the Citadel’s control and operate as independent Morkite outposts. Quietly, they were securing their resources and arming themselves to deal with GD Schnott’s onslaught. The Truths’ loyalists were circulating amongst the dissident colonists, and a new Morkite battle cry was soon heard:
“The Truths’ Shall Set Us Free!”
Realizing that control of the Colony was in jeopardy, with her status and respect at the Citadel in question, and even her personal relationship with Quirk on shaky ground, GD Jewel Schnott found herself up against a brick wall. Druida Wiccana was of no help, because she, too had grown in her distrust of Schnott’ fitness for this mission. Alone, locked behind perpetually closed doors in her sanctuary in the Citadel, Jewel Schnott hopelessly searched her soul for an answer. She was being pushed perilously close to the edge of an abyss, and there was no help in sight...
TO BE CONTINUED